The Grossman Lab

Two Grossman lab researchers smile as they sample soils in a field of kura clover. Each holds a white 5-gallon bucket and a soil probe, and both are wearing maroon shirts, field pants, and hiking boots.
Sharon and Naomy sit on the ground in a field of various, tall, flowering cover crops. They are cutting biomass samples into pillowcases
Members of the Grossman Lab smile as they eat together around a table
Naomy, Rebecca, Vivian, and Sharon smile in front of a backdrop with the MOSES Organic Farming Conference logo
Marie having a conversation with two farmers in Rwanda


The Grossman Lab explores the ways in which we can better manage legume-rhizobia relationships to enhance soil health, with the ultimate goal of developing sustainable and resilient food production systems.

We strive to ethically co-create and share scientific understanding by working with a wide range of community partners and valuing all forms of knowledge.

We mentor future changemakers by facilitating community-based learning in classroom and research settings.

We aim to learn with integrity, challenge our assumptions, and create respectful and safe spaces for a diversity of people and ideas.


El Laboritorio de Grossman explora las formas en que podemos manejar la relación entre leguminosas y rizobios para enriquecer la salud de suelo, con la meta principal de desarrollar sistemas de producción alimenticios sostenibles y resilientes.

Nos esforzamos por co-crear, éticamente, entendimiento científico y compartir con un amplio rango de socios comunitarios, valorando todo tipo de conocimiento.

Orientamos a futuros hacedores de cambio, al facilitar el aprendizaje basado en comunidad, tanto en el contexto del aula como de investigación.

Aspiramos aprender con integridad, desafiar nuestras suposiciones y crear espacios seguros y de respeto para la diversidad de personas e ideas.

A collage of various photos of Grossman lab members and some plants. There is a photo of Naomy holding up an award in front of her conference poster, a photo of a sunflower, a photo of Julie standing with a plot of sorghum sudangrass that is taller than her, and more fun field photos

Follow our Instagram @GrossmanLabUMN to see us in action! 

Instagram icon with our lab handle, @grossmanlabumn, beside it in pink lettering


The Grossman Lab logo, with a center, circular image of a compound green leaf on one half and a taproot with nodules on the other half. Surrounding the circle, there is text that reads "The Grossman Lab" on the top in pink and "Soil Agroecology" on the bottom in brown
Our research falls within three general areas:
  • The influence of agricultural management on microbial functioning, especially as related to the legume-rhizobia symbiosis
  • The effect of organic production approaches on soil health and quality
  • The impact of agroecosystem diversification on microbially-driven soil processes

A central thread that connects much of our work is the examination of diversification strategies such as cover cropping. We are fascinated by the role of microbes that drive the critical soil processes on which diverse agroecosystems depend for long-term stability.

Check out the What We're Doing page for descriptions of our current projects. Prospective graduate students and post-docs should read the Become Cool Like Us page to learn about the process through which we add new lab members to our team.